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Transcendent: The Photographs of Hiroshi Sugimoto

An exhibition of fifteen prints by the internationally renowned photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto is currently on view at the Indiana University Art Museum in Bloomington.

A fixture of the contemporary art scene for more than three decades, Sugimoto’s photography has recently surfaced in the pop music world as well, as the cover image of U2′s newest album, No Line on the Horizon.

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Japanese-born photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto was trained in Tokyo and Los Angeles, and hit the New York art scene in 1974.

By 1978, his work was already being featured in a show of “Recent Acquisitions” by the Museum of Modern Art.

The artist distinguished himself from other conceptualists of his generation through the use of a nineteenth-century-style camera and the use of traditional darkroom techniques for his black-and-white prints.

Sugimoto’s first big commercial successes were a theatre series. Various in venue-from an art deco movie house to IMAX theatre–the theatre pictures maintain a continuity of vantage point, their one-point perspective providing a roughly symmetrical scene, with a glowing, blank screen at the center.

The images represent an exposure equal in length to that of the movie being shown; as such, transcending photography’s convention of capturing a moment in time.

The theme of transcendence of time and space pervades Sugimoto’s serene, elegant, almost other-worldly photographs, examples of which are on view at the IU Art Museum.

On view through May 10, 2009, Transcendent: The Photographs of Hiroshi Sugimoto features the artist’s seascapes, architectural landmarks and conceptual form series in addition to the theatre pictures.

There will be a reception for the exhibition on Saturday, April 25 in the Thomas T. Solley Atrium on the first floor of the IU Art Museum.

The reception follows a talk by Gen Aihara, New York- and Tokyo-based photographer and assistant to Hiroshi Sugimoto, who will discuss the career of his mentor.

The talk starts at 5:30 pm, in the Hope School of Fine Arts, Room 102.

Yaël Ksander

WFIU's Arts Desk Editor, Yaël seeks out and shepherds the stories of artists, musicians, writers, and other creative people. In addition, Yaël co-hosts A Moment of Science, writes essays for A Moment of Indiana History, produces Speak Your Mind (WFIU's guest editorial segment), hosts music and news hours throughout the week, and lends her voice to everything from accounting courses to nature documentaries. Yaël holds a MFA in painting from Indiana University, an MA in art history from Columbia University, and a BA from the University of Virginia, where she studied languages and literature.

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